Skip Navigation

Ndop Portrait of King Mishe miShyaang maMbul

Arts of Africa

On View: Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
Ndop figures are idealized portraits of individual Kuba rulers. This ndop, considered the oldest in existence, displays the king’s symbol, a drum with a severed hand. As in other ndop figures, the ruler sits cross-legged on a raised platform. His face expresses both aloofness and composure. The short sword in his left hand (held with handle out, indicating the nonaggressive pose of the nyim) and the belts, arm bands, bracelets, shoulder ornaments, and special projecting headdress are all elements of royal regalia. Ndop figures were believed to represent and honor the spirit of the nyim and serve as a point of contact with his spirit.
MEDIUM Wood (crossopterix febrifuga), camwood powder
DATES ca. 1760-1780
DIMENSIONS 19 1/2 x 7 5/8 x 8 5/8 in. (49.5 x 19.4 x 21.9 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 61.33
CREDIT LINE Purchased with funds given by Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, Mrs. Donald M. Oenslager, Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Blum, and the Mrs. Florence A. Blum Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
CAPTION Kuba (Bushoong subgroup). Ndop Portrait of King Mishe miShyaang maMbul, ca. 1760-1780. Wood (crossopterix febrifuga), camwood powder, 19 1/2 x 7 5/8 x 8 5/8 in. (49.5 x 19.4 x 21.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, Mrs. Donald M. Oenslager, Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Blum, and the Mrs. Florence A. Blum Fund, 61.33. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE side, right, 61.33_side_right_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The figure sits cross-legged on a rectangular platform which is decorated with geometric chain-like bands. His right hand rests on his knee, the left hand holds a ritual knife. The head is large, with finely carved features and a curved hairline. His eyes are closed. The headdress consists of a decorated board atop a cylindrical ring. He wears a belt incised with shell motifs, armbands, bracelets, a rounded shoulder strap, and a belt with richly decorated back apron. In front of him is a cylindrical drum set on a small perforated pedestal. The drum is decorated with a hand and intertwined geometric motifs. Condition: very good. Dark, mellow patina throughout. There is a fine crack down the p. left torso, a larger one at p. left through foot and base. A recessed rectangular patch at p. left jawline. Minor checks at lower back and right pedestal. Some chips at left base, insect holes in base.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (91%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.